· Administration accused of cynical ploy to win votes
· Bush adviser denies he called supporters 'nuts'
A former senior presidential aide has accused the Bush administration of using evangelical Christians to win votes but then privately ridiculing them once in office. The allegations by David Kuo, the former deputy director of the White House office of faith-based initiatives, come at a devastating time, when the administration is counting on born-again Christians to vote in sufficient numbers to save the Republicans' hold on Congress in the November elections.
In a book entitled Tempting Faith: an Inside Story of Political Seduction, to be published on Monday, Mr Kuo portrays the Bush White House's commitment to evangelical causes as little more than a cynical facade designed to win votes.
"National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as ridiculous, out of control, and just plain goofy," Mr Kuo wrote, according to MSNBC television, which obtained an early copy of the book. In particular, he quotes Karl Rove, the president's long-serving political adviser and mentor, as describing evangelical Christians as "nuts".
I've never believed for a heartbeat that this was truly a "Christian" White House. Karl Rove's sole interest is power. And if exploiting the Religious Right will help him get it, well, that's what he'll do.